One of the Good Guys
'A razor-laced and dangerously glittering novel' Gillian Flynn
by Araminta Hall
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Pub Date 4 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 4 Jan 2024
Pan Macmillan, Macmillan
'I've been a fan of Araminta’s from the start; she is one of the most daring and intriguing writers working today. Her writing is so addictive, her characters so sharply realized. ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS is a resonant, razor-laced, and dangerously glittering novel.' Gillian Flynn
This is what happens when two women have had enough...
Cole is the perfect husband; a romantic, supportive of his wife’s career, keen to be a hands-on dad, not a big drinker. A good guy.
So when his wife leaves him, he's floored. She was lucky to be with a man like him.
Craving solitude, he accepts a job on the coast and quickly settles into his new life. Then he meets reclusive artist Lennie. And though she is quite different from the woman he’d expected, he believes he has finally found a soulmate.
But as their relationship develops, two young women go missing while on a walk protesting gendered violence, right by where Cole and Lennie live. Finding themselves at the heart of a police investigation and media frenzy, Cole soon realises they don’t know each other very well at all . . .
If most men say they’re one of the good guys, then why are so many women afraid to walk alone at night?
'Scorching, smart and soaked in feminist rage, this is a suspense that stays with you long after the last page' Ellery Lloyd
'It got me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. It’s creepy, thought-provoking, compelling and so very relevant.' Julie Cohen
'A scintillating thriller and a scorching condemnation of how differently society treats men versus women ... will make you reexamine your idea of fear, perception, and public opinion.' Kellye Garrett
'A mind-bending tour de force. Araminta Hall has always been one of my favorite writers, but what she has done here is groundbreaking. This thriller is shocking, twisted, dark, and absolutely on point.' Samantha Downing
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 79 members
Wow wow wow. What a read!! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but it was not this. It’s a mix between first person accounts and media. There are no chapters, just parts, which always make it a little harder for me to get into but I always do in the end.
This has been cleverly written and I think this style of book is the future for crime novels!
The first part was told from Cole’s point of view. I very nearly gave up reading as I couldn’t connect with him, but once I got to part/ chapter 2 and hear Mel’s version of events I was hooked! the first 2 parts were setting the scene between Cole and Mel’s marriage and the effects of trying for a baby had on their relationship.
Part/chapter 3&4 flittered between Lenny B’s story and different media accounts. This is now where the mystery starts. What has happened to Holly and Phoebe who were on a 365 mile walk in protest against violence against women. Was Cole the last person to speak to them? And just who is Lenny B and what are her motives?
I genuinely wasn’t sure what had happened. I had a slight inkling but dismissed it almost straight away. I liked how the media was used to set the scene and turn this into a true crime story.
I will say a trigger warning is needed in particular against rape and cohesive control but it has been done sympathetically and this book will help raise more awareness.
Thank you to NetGalley, PanMacMillan and Araminta Hall for this arc. I absolutely loved it!
This book is so clever!!! It really made me think about how women and girls are perceived in our society and what could happen if we turned that on its head! Fantastic book.
I am a huge fan of Araminta Hall and I have to say, I am sure that this is her best book yet! The writing is so sharp, the twists hugely satisfying, and its a real thinker, too.
For me, there has never been a clearer 5 star ever!! I absolutely adore this book and everything it has to say!
The story opens with the character of Cole, who recounts his experiences with women in his life. Immediately, we pick up on the vibe of him playing the victim, undermining their feelings, lacking any self-awareness, and molding things to suit his own narrative. But he claims to be "one of the good guys," right? Women, according to him, just don't understand the "hard work and effort he puts in," work that should undoubtedly earn him praise because this notion, where the bar for men is set so low that they are deemed exemplary by default, becomes very evident. Never mind that women don't receive the same privilege.
However, at no point does it feel like an over-exaggeration of the character or like the author is pushing an agenda. The narrative simply highlights the real-life men that women encounter and deal with on a daily basis. The portrayal has the uncanny ability to make you feel gaslighted by simply reading from Cole's perspective.
Nevertheless, a pivotal shift occurs as the story transitions to his wife's viewpoint in the second part. The book unfolds the intricacies of their marriage, year by year, as the story reveals when their relationship started taking a downturn.
The third and final part of the book introduces mixed media, including newspaper and magazine articles, podcast transcripts, interviews, and online posts and comments that explain the twist in the story related to two missing girls who disappeared during a protest against male violence. This will undoubtedly make you ponder the morality and justice of the situation presented.
I applaud the author for dealing with these topics in such a nuanced way. The book delves into discussions about inequality in shared finances at home, the emotional and physical toll of the IVF journey on women, double standards, the influence of pornography on men's perception of women, male violence and disrespect in various forms, predatory behavior, victim-blaming, manipulation disguised as love, and the audacity of men attempting to control women's bodies. The narrative also touches on how the media prioritizes white middle-class women in cases involving law enforcement efforts, and the reality that women are often only heard when they have lost their voices entirely.
The inclusion of reddit comments in the book further adds to its authenticity, as they resonate with the same discourse and hatred i often encounter online.
This book brilliantly encapsulates every facet of being a woman in today's society, every time we've felt unsafe and ostracized, unheard and not taken seriously, and made to feel crazy for expressing our truth. It's full of feminist rage and much-needed social commentary. The plot flows effortlessly, and I seriously can't praise it enough!
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
A superb psychological thriller revolving around the break up of Mel and Cole and Cole's new friendship with Lennie.
I loved the slow build up of suspense and found this to be a really spooky and creepy read because I couldn't work out who are the good/bad guys. It's very addictive and I had to keep reading to reach the outcome which I hadn't predicted, but is very profound.
An excellent plot. Highly recommended.
I loved this book, starting from Cole's POV we soon realise there is something not right with our hero. Lots of twists and turns and some interesting plot devices make this a stand out page-turner and I will be recommending this and seeking out Araminta Hall's other books.
I really enjoyed this mystery book, loved trying to solve the mystery as I read the book. I loved the characters and the suspense. This author has a great writing style.
Cole is one of the good guys. Perfect, really. So he thinks. When his marriage implodes he simply cannot understand it. It is quite unfathomable for him. Moving to the coast, Cole meets Lennie and thinks that he has, at last, found his soulmate in life. Someone, no doubt, to appreciate his perfection. When two young women go missing nearby things are to take a very dark turn. Bombshell psychological suspense which is so much more than just a story. Genre crossing and multi layered and a plot populated with keenly observed characters, an en pointe narrative and dark, contemporary and thought provoking threads.
"One of the Good Guys" by Araminta Hall is a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of relationships, gender dynamics, and the darkness that can lurk beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Cole's character is meticulously crafted, embodying the archetype of a "good guy" while gradually revealing his complexities and flaws. As he navigates the aftermath of his wife's departure and forms a connection with the enigmatic Lennie, the narrative delves into the intricacies of human nature and the masks people wear.
Hall's narrative takes an unexpected turn as the story intertwines with the disappearance of two young women, shedding light on issues of gendered violence and the pervasive fear that many women experience. The author skilfully raises questions about the perception of men as "good guys" and the reality that women often live with.
The novel is a masterful blend of psychological suspense and social commentary, offering a unique perspective on the complexities of modern relationships and societal expectations. Hall's writing is evocative and immersive, drawing readers into a gripping tale that keeps them guessing until the very end.
"One of the Good Guys" is a thought-provoking and timely read that challenges traditional notions of goodness and explores the intricacies of human behaviour and relationships. It's a book that will linger in your thoughts long after you've finished reading.
I began reading this book wondering if I’d finish it- it seemed badly written and I couldn’t get to like the main character. However- everything was turned on its head pretty swiftly, and I raced through this brilliant book. What a glorious, furious, rage of a read highly recommend
Book 85 of 2023
Thank you to the publisher, the author and @NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinions.
'One of the Good Guys' by @aramintahall was NOT what I was expecting! I have read some of the author's previous books a number of years ago (pre my reading log so will have to try to guess which ones I still need to read), but this one blew me away. It is so sharply written and the fact that when half way through, I stopped to question if I'd understood it correctly truly was a welcome surprise. This is published on 4th January and is sure to get you out of your post-festive slump so get it on your pre-order list.
At the start we are are introduced with Cole, a true "good guy", embarking on a new chapter in his life after the breakdown of his marriage to Mel. Cole had been a great husband, supportive, loving and desperate to be a father. But things don't work out and Cole moves to the coast. Needing companionship, he finds friendship with reclusive artist Lennie. She is there as a sounding board for Cole and it is not long before he feels like he's found his soulmate.
On the rugged coastline, there is a drama as two young women mysteriously disappear on their sponsored walk for gendered violence and this takes place after a run-in with Cole who appears to be the last person to speak with them. Is he truly "one of the good guys" and can we trust him?
We have a most fantastic twist when the narrative perspective changes and we hear from Mel. We also have social media inserts, WhatsApp conversations and lots of opinions from lots of people. I love an unreliable narrator and this was such a clever book that I've been thinking about it all week after finishing it. A most definite recommendation from me.
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